A pregnancy loss becomes part of you
No matter at what stage a woman has a miscarriage, the experience is very profound and should not be diminished or dismissed. It remains present in situations when she misses a period or spots unexpectedly. Any deviation from a “normal” cycle, automatically my mind questions, “Am I experiencing a miscarriage?” Since the birth of my second child, I decided not to use birth control. I have PCOS, which contributes to my periods being irregular and heavy. I track my period and it’s on its own schedule now so I am pretty comfortable with my “normal” cycle. Except last month.
When I miscarried three years ago, my body was still in pregnancy mode. I selected to take the pills and let my body naturally remove the baby. Even with my experience with PCOS, this experience was very painful, excessive, and long, but I endured through it. Once my body recuperated, I continued on my fertility journey. But the experience never leaves you and it manifested into anxiety and paranoia during my entire pregnancy. There was a time I didn’t feel any movement and I panicked and went straight to the doctor’s office. When they did the ultrasound, the tech said he was turned away from my belly, mostly towards the bottom of my back, and moving around just fine. Even after the birth of my second son, it’s a lingering feeling. A brief prick in my spirit from time to time.
But last month, while cooking, out of nowhere, I started to bleed profusely and the cramping soon followed. This is not my normal. I know my body. This is not right. I did not share my initial fears with my husband until the third day as I was balled up in a fetal position on the bed. Normally I would have called my doctor and scheduled an urgent appointment, but due to COVID19, my anxiety of the outdoors and unknown froze me. I was scared. Finally I told my husband that I was going through a similar experience like when I miscarried. Being supportive, he said to call the doctor in the morning and he slipped in if it is a miscarriage, he doesn’t want to know. He is so sensitive. I know that was his fears talking.
So in the morning, I spoke with one of the nurses and she advised me to come in asap. She went over the protocols in place that I will need to follow: arrive early, come alone, and wear a mask. When I arrived, I wore my mask and latex gloves. At the pre-check in, my temperature was taken and I answered some preliminary questions. Given the green light to go into the office, I checked in and was immediately seen. After some lab work and an ultrasound, my diagnosis is fibroids. Definitely a concern to address, but I was relieved and I called my husband from the car when I left.
I share this story, although somewhat TMI, I think it’s important that we stay vocal about our health, women’s health. Before my afternoon visit, I told my coworker I was logging off early to go to the doctor and afterwards, I informed her of my diagnosis and opened up with my initial concern that I thought it may be a miscarriage. She then confessed to me that that possibility crossed her mind when I first told her because she too had experienced a miscarriage. Another layer peeled back as we continue to learn more about each other. And this is not my first time sharing an experience with another woman and finding out that we have pregnancy loss in common. It brings a sense of intimacy within a relationship, a heightened level of compassion and trust.
With the added level of social distancing and quarantine, do not allow it to bury you further into aloofness. Pick up the phone. Set up a video chat. Write in a journal. Chat with a friend. Talk with your spouse. Call your doctor. Just don’t stay silent whether in your sadness or pain. Life is still happening to and around us. Every day we are getting older and our bodies are changing. Continue to listen to your bodies and take care. Stay safe.